Top 20 Tiny MCU Details You Probably Missed

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Top 20 Tiny MCU Details You Probably Missed

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Matt Klem
These MCU easter eggs will blow your mind! For this list, we'll be looking at little details from the various MCU films that you may not have even known were there the first time you watched it. Our countdown includes "Spider-Man: No Way Home", "Avengers: Endgame", "Thor", "Captain America: Civil War", "Eternals", and more!
Transcript

Top 20 Tiny Details in Marvel Movies You Probably Missed


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 20 Tiny Details in Marvel Movies You Probably Missed.

For this list, we’ll be looking at little details from the various MCU films that you may not have even known were there the first time you watched it.

What’s your favorite MCU easter egg? Let us know in the comments.

#20: Mural of Scientists

"Spider-Man: No Way Home" (2022)

The world has learned the true identity of Spider-Man. And now as Peter returns to school, the halls are filled with people just waiting to catch a glimpse of the real deal. Just as he comes up the stairs, fans can easily spot a large mural on the wall filled with notable scientists. Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla, and even Howard Stark and Hank Pym. Early concept art for the film showed the same mural but also included Jane Foster and Tony Stark himself. They are surprisingly omitted from the final film. At least Bruce Banner got a quick and you’ll miss it cameo within a photograph in “Spider-Man: Homecoming”.

#19: Donald Blake

“Thor” (2011)

In the Asgardian god of thunder’s first film, Thor meets Jane Foster in rather…unusual circumstances. When providing some clothes for him, Jane mentions her ex to Thor, whose name is Donald Blake. Later on, Erik Selvig also uses Jane’s ex as an alias for Thor, trying to get him out of SHIELD custody. While “Donald Blake” may seem like just another name to most viewers, comic fans may have picked up on the fact that Donald Blake was actually Thor’s human persona in the comics. Guess Jane has a type…

#18: Drone Tally

"Captain America: Civil War" (2016)

Victory marking has been a staple of aerial successes since World War I. Aircraft pilots themselves have been known to keep a tally of every enemy they have shot down. Audiences may know him as the War Machine, but Colonel Rhodes is a member of the Air Force. During several scenes in “Captain America: Civil War”, you can spot tiny little “Ultron” heads engraved into his armor plating on the right hand side. They’re no tally marks, but clearly this is Rhodey’s own record of how many drones he took down during the second Avengers movie.

#17: Black Knight’s Ring

"Eternals" (2021)

Although the “Eternals” movie didn’t spend a lot of time with Kit Harrington’s Dane Whitman, it did plant a few subtle clues about what is in store for his future. Long before the end credit scene gave us a bigger hint, Sersi herself played a hand in it. While celebrating his birthday, she gives him a ring that bears his family crest. On the surface it seems like a sweet gesture, but there’s a lot more going on here. The crest seen in the ring matches the logo of The Black Knight from the Marvel comics. Given how the end credit scene played out, this all but confirms the horse riding warrior will be seen soon.

#16: The Origins of the Infinity Stones

"Guardians of the Galaxy" (2014)

The Infinity Stones were a massive focus of the first three phases of the MCU. So when “Guardians of the Galaxy” came along, we got a bit more insight into Thanos and a few details on the stones. Truthfully however, audiences actually got a lot more than they originally thought. As Starlord enters the temple on Morag, there’s murals all around him. On one of them you can see all six colored stones surrounded by the four entities that created them: Death, Entropy, Infinity, and Eternity. Remember when Wong told us about how the stones were created? Well, here’s an actual depiction of their inception: four years before “Avengers: Infinity War”.

#15: “Community” Cast

Various

The folks over at Marvel certainly seem to have an affinity for the cast over at “Community”. This might have something to do with the fact that the Russo brothers who are behind some of MCU’s biggest films directed over 30 episodes of the NBC comedy. MCU stars, such as Captain Marvel herself Brie Larson have also appeared in one or more episodes of “Community”. It’s not just Russo films either, plenty of other MCU films have featured allum from the comedy show such as Donald Glover in “Spider-Man: Homecoming”.

#14: The Human Torch

"Captain America: The First Avenger" (2011)

There was a time when Disney didn’t own the rights to the “Fantastic Four” characters within Marvel. That meant that no MCU movie was allowed to showcase characters from that franchise. So it comes as a bit of a surprise to learn that “Captain America: The First Avenger” managed to sneak a human torch easter egg into their movie. As Bucky and Steve enter the Stark expo, you can spot a red suit for “Synthetic Man”. What viewers may not know is that it was inspired by the original Human Torch. It’s a tip of the cap to Chris Evans who played that character in two of the non-MCU “Fantastic Four” films.

#13: Passing the Torch

"Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" (2021)

With “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” bringing a much larger Asian representation to the MCU, there were nods to the road that had been paved before it. Much like Michelle Yeoh’s early beginnings as a dancer, Meng'er Zhang had no martial arts background prior to this film. So when Ying hands her weapon to Xu Xialing, it's a subtle torch being passed from one generation of Asian heroes to another. The film also recognizes the history of martial arts legend Jackie Chan. We catch Shang-Chi using his jacket as a weapon much like Chan did in “Rumble in the Bronx”. The fight on the scaffolding is also reminiscent of scenes from “Rush Hour 2”.

#12: Hulk Has a Chest Scar

"Thor: Ragnarok” (2017)

Nowadays, when people think of a live action Hulk, they think of Mark Ruffalo’s interpretation of the character. A fan favorite, it can be easy to forget Edward Norton also portrayed him in the MCU film “The Incredible Hulk”. When pinned against the wall, Abomination pushes a portion of his elbow bone into Hulk’s chest. For the rest of the fight, you can clearly see his injury. Fast-forward to “Thor: Ragnarok”, key observers can spot a scar on Hulk’s chest right where we would expect it to be. We couldn’t spot it in any of the earlier films, but given how much focus was put on Hulk for this movie, we love the attention to detail.

#11: People Magazine

"Spider-Man: No Way Home" (2021)

The third “Spider-Man” film from the MCU is so packed with callbacks it’s virtually impossible to catch every one of them. Along with nods to the previous Spider-Man franchises, they also included a blink and you’ll miss it moment which references “Spider-Man: Homecoming”. As Doctor Strange is chasing Peter through the streets, he takes a corner and we catch a glimpse of a news stand with “People” magazine on display. Liz Allen, Peter’s homecoming date from the first movie, appears on the cover with the headline “He’s a liar.”. It’s such a small moment, but clearly meant to grab the attention of astute viewers.

#10: A Grisly Star Wars Tribute

All Phase 2 Films

Did you know that Kevin Feige, the head of Marvel Studios, is a big fan of “Star Wars”? So much so that he made a point of paying tribute to the franchise throughout the entire second phase of the MCU. During an interview with Cinemablend, Feige pointed out that much like how Luke and many others lost a limb in the “Star Wars” films, characters from all the phase 2 films also lose a limb. Bucky Barnes, Aldrich Killian, Groot, Thor, Iron Man, and Yellowjacket all lose an arm at some point in their respective movies from that era. How is it we didn’t notice this before?

#9: Cap’s List Changes

"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" (2014)

Shortly after meeting Sam while out for his run, Steve is given a suggestion about things he should check out now that he’s back among the living. For a handful of frames, audiences got a glimpse of his list which included the moon landing and “I Love Lucy”. That is, if you saw it in the United States. There are variations of this list for different parts of the world. Russia’s list has the fall of the Soviet Union, while Italy’s version makes mention of the first Italian astronaut. At least 10 versions of the list can be found online. It just shows us how far Disney will go to regionalize their films.

#8: Tobias Fünke Cameo

“Avengers: Infinity War” (2018)

Joe and Anthony Russo are some of the MCU’s most celebrated directors, but what fans may not know is that they used to work on the cult sitcom, “Arrested Development.” Eagle eyed fans were able to spot the famous “stair car” used by the Bluth family in the airport scene in “Captain America: Civil War,” but their most recent tribute to their former show happens in “Avengers: Infinity War.” While sneaking through the Collector’s hallways to get the drop on Thanos, Gamora passes by a blue, mustachioed man in stasis, in what is a pretty clear tribute to Tobias Funke’s brief attempt at joining the Blue Man Group. Although the director’s asked actor David Cross to do it himself, he sadly had other commitments.

#7: The Collector's Collection

“Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014)

We’ve already touched on one of the alien Collector’s impressive collection of creatures and artifacts already, but there’s plenty of hidden gems displayed in the open to discuss. Although Marvel Easter Eggs like Howard the Duck and Cosmo are fairly easy to spot, others are less obvious. For instance, several specimens from races Thor faces, like a Dark Elf and a Frost Giant can be found in cases, as well as a Chitauri from “The Avengers.” Also, what may be a slug from director James Gunn’s film “Slither” can also be seen. The Collector is as dedicated to his collection as any fan in our world, so that’s probably only scratching the surface.

#6: Nick Fury's "Fictional" Tombstone

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (2014)

Nick Fury is a master spy and all around badass. Although he manages to hold his own in a shootout during Captain America’s second film, he is apparently assassinated in Cap’s apartment; later appearing to die at a hospital. But, naturally, Fury later returns; having faked his death to move more freely so he could outmaneuver their foes. By the film’s end though, we see that SHIELD went so far as to have a gravestone made for its former director. Although the quote, ““The path of the righteous man... Ezekiel 25:17” may seem like any other bit of Bible scripture, anyone who’s seen “Pulp Fiction” will instantly recognize it from the speech delivered by Fury actor Samuel L. Jackson in the film.

#5: The Ten Rings

Various

In the MCU, the Ten Rings is a criminal organization that appears originally in the first “Iron Man” film. With some of its members being responsible for kidnapping Tony Stark and driving him to become Iron Man, the Ten Rings also crops up after this, with their logo being used in the fake Mandarin’s videos. Although it took a while for them to make a major appearance after this, one of the potential buyers of the Yellow Jacket suit in “Ant-Man” can be seen sporting a tattoo of the Ten Rings mark on his neck. After years of Easter egg-teasing and fake Mandarin reveals, the real Mandarin and the Ten Rings made a definitive appearance in “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.”

#4: Thor Loses His Eye Is Foreshadowed Minutes Earlier

“Thor: Ragnarok” (2017)

One of the most shockingly brutal parts of the “Thor” films occurs when the title character’s evil sister, Hela the goddess of death, slices out Thor’s eye. Besides making him look more like his father, the moment also marks one of the times a Marvel villain has done such visible harm to a hero. However, what may be less visible is that the moment is foreshadowed not long before. Earlier in the film, Hela destroys a mural above Asgard’s throne room. When Thor returns to Asgard, he sees his image with a crack running through the eye he eventually loses.

#3: The A113 Connection

Various

In virtually every Pixar movie ever made, there has been a reference to a mysterious code called “A113”. This was a classroom occupied by many of the major players over at Pixar. With Disney owning both Marvel and the animation company, it was only a matter of time before this easter egg spread. During Stan Lee’s cameo in “The Avengers”, you can spot the file number in the upper left hand corner which reads “A113”. You can also spot the code in episode five of “Wandavision” when S.W.O.R.D. is giving the debrief on Wanda Maximoff. Great, now we’re going to be looking for that everywhere!

#2: A Different Title Theme

"Avengers: Endgame" (2019)

There’s something to be said about the finer details in film. For every obvious sound, word, or plot device used, there can be dozens of subtleties that you only pick up on after a rewatch. “Avengers: Endgame” included something so subdued that it’s virtually impossible to spot during a first viewing. Knowing half the universe was blipped away, the title card for Endgame featured an alternative version of the “Avengers” theme. What was different? They only used half the instruments for this version since the other half were, well, snapped away. It’s one of those things you’d probably never notice until someone pointed it out to you. So, you’re welcome!

#1: Cap's Shield

Various

Captain America is one of the most prominent and recurring characters in the MCU. But even when he doesn’t appear himself, he still makes cameos, after a fashion. His shield has featured in several minor cameos before the character was even introduced. While plenty of people recall Agent Coulson showing a replica shield to Tony Stark in “Iron Man 2,” the same film also features some in-universe Captain America comics, which may have belonged to Tony’s father. In addition, the same replica can be spotted in the first “Iron Man” film as an Easter egg. A recreation of his og shield also appears on Kingo’s jet during “the Eternals”. Whether it’s on a plane or propping up devices, the shield could make cameos all day.
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